Vakasha Sachdev Profile picture
Associate Editor - Legal @thequint . Ex-lawyer. Tweets are personal. Mail:
Jul 19, 2021 10 tweets 5 min read
The Indian Government's response to the #Pegasus revelations is quite amusing.

After a lot of bluster and grandstanding, as has become our won't, it gets to the juicy part right at the end, in these four paragraphs:
1/n There is no actual denial by the govt of it using #Pegasus (no the bluster ABT RTIs and malicious allegations doesn't deny anything in so many words). In fact, there is a reiteration that there has been "no unauthorised interception" by Govt agencies.
Jul 18, 2021 6 tweets 3 min read
Two things are clear:
- Several Indian citizens' phones were attacked using spyware from NSO Group - incl journalists & activists critical of Indian govt.
- NSO Group insists it only sells its products to govts.

We are inured to a lot from this government, but enough is enough. The govt is.once again trotting out its line that any interceptions of messages is according to the law and authorised instructions.

That's a fudge, because spyware like Pegasus is not just interception, it's hacking a whole device. Which is always illegal.
Apr 21, 2021 18 tweets 4 min read
Surely today, as Indians struggle desperately to save themselves; as Delhi HC has to cajole the Centre into ensuring oxygen reaches the capital; as infections & death tolls soar & the data fudging is clear; as a nationwide vaccine plan disappears; there has to be an awakening. In the middle of the inferno that #COVIDSecondWaveInIndia , the Union Home Minister is going to address 3 public rallies. The day after that, your Prime Minister, this man who you revere like a God, is going to address 4. FOUR. PUBLIC. RALLIES. IN THE MIDDLE OF A GODDAMN PANDEMIC
Mar 4, 2021 5 tweets 2 min read
Bar Council of India's statement on recent comments by CJI about marrying rapist is not only shameful brown-nosing, but also factually incorrect on age of consent in 2014.

IPC Amendment of 2013 changed age of consent in Section 375 to 18

POCSO Act 2012 defined child as <18 yrs Criminal Law Amendment Act 2013:…

POCSO as of 2012:…
Oct 30, 2020 6 tweets 4 min read
SCOOP | @OfficialSauravD reveals, based on RTI replies, that vital data protection safeguards that @NICMeity was supposed to ensure under the govt's own #AarogyaSetu Protocol, have not been implemented, 6 months since its release.

@TheQuint… These include:

1) The requirement for NIC to maintain a list of all those entities with which data has been shared (Para 6(c))
Aug 22, 2020 17 tweets 4 min read
Here's why the withdrawal of that book by @BloomsburyIndia is NOT an attack on free speech.

The book wasn't an expression of opinion or a comment, or anything like that. It purported to tell the truth, ie, set out the facts about the Delhi riots.
Since that is the case, then it needs to be subjected to strict scrutiny in terms of its contents and the qualifications of its authors. This was something that should have been done by the publishers at the outset.
Apr 1, 2020 11 tweets 6 min read
Cannot understand this.

FIR is against @thewire_in for a story about how the UP Govt initially was going to keep the Ram Navmi celebrations in Ayodhya continue.

ANI says it's for dissemination of fake news, but FIR doesn't say article was false per se.

1/n FIR is registered under Sections 188 and 505(2) of the IPC.

Section 188 is about disobedience of an order by a public servant.

How can an article like this be a violation of Section 188 - which Section 144 CrPC order prohibits publication of a news article?!?!

Mar 3, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights' intervention application in three Supreme Court re #CAA is quite remarkable.

Sets out international legal standards that SC should consider without 'taking a side' per se. But a blind man can see the law is discriminatory. What is particularly powerful in this application is how UNHCHR Michelle Bachelet Jeria points out that India played a key role in making the right to equal protection of laws part of international HR treaties.

What a small nation we have become, from one that dreamed so big.
Feb 26, 2020 52 tweets 29 min read
At Delhi High Court, where bench of Justices Muralidhar & Talwant Singh are to hear the petition filed by @harsh_mander for an SIT into #DelhiRiots , compensation for victims & FIRs against BJP leaders for incitement.

SC proceedings details:
You can find details about the petition in the article below. Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves had mentioned it in the morning before Justice Muralidhar's court, who agreed to hear it at 12:30.

Judges have arrived.
Jan 21, 2020 42 tweets 26 min read
The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the petitions challenging the abrogation of #Article370 and reorganization of #JammuAndKashmir today.

Here's what happened at the hearings back in December:
Constitution Bench has assembled: Justices NV Ramana, Sanjay Kishan Kaul, R Subhash Reddy, BR Gavai and Surya Kant.

They're asking Dinesh Dwivedi, appearing for PUCL, how long he'll need to complete his argument asking for the matter to be referred to a larger Bench.
Jan 5, 2020 19 tweets 13 min read
Route to #JNU has been closed by @DelhiPolice . Having to go from an alternative route.

Traffic policeman asks why we are going, when I say it's because there are students being attacked there, he dismisses us, claims no such thing has ever happened.A
@TheQuint A regular cop who is here at the barricade says the DCP is inside with police forces to deal with the trouble.
Dec 25, 2019 8 tweets 4 min read
UP govt issues notices to people they claim were involved in rioting, telling them to pay for the damage caused.

This is blatantly illegal. Liability can only arise AFTER a conviction.

Does the rule of law mean nothing to the Yogi Govt?… I know there will be some who will try to make the claim this move is in accordance with a Supreme Court judgment. It is not.

SC adopted guidelines for such events in the 2009 'In Re Destruction of Pvt & Public Properties vs State of AP' case
Dec 12, 2019 33 tweets 21 min read
Day 3 of the hearings by a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in the cases challenging abrogation of #Article370 and Reorganisation of #JammuAndKashmir .

Here's what happened on Day 2
Senior advocate Raju Ramachandran continues to present previous decisions of Supreme Court dealing with #JammuAndKashmir , to support propositions he has put forward against proclamation of President's Rule, the Presidential Orders & Reorganisation Act.

Dec 11, 2019 45 tweets 26 min read
Back at Supreme Court for the second day of hearings in the cases challenging abrogation of #Article370 and the Reorganisation of #JammuAndKashmir .

Here's what happened on the first day of hearings yesterday @TheQuint
Justices NV Ramana, BR Gavai, Sanjay Kishan Kaul, R Subhash Reddy and Surya Kant about to arrive

Senior advocate Raju Ramachandran to continue for Shah Faesal, Shehla Rashid et al.

Had been arguing how Presidential Orders & Reorganisation Act had been rushed through @TheQuint
Dec 10, 2019 50 tweets 26 min read
Constitution Bench of Supreme Court to hear petitions challenging abrogation of #Article370 and the reorganization of #JammuAndKashmir today at 10:30 am.

Will arguments finally begin or will the case be adjourned again?

Will be reporting live for @TheQuint from court 2. Here's what happened during the last hearing on 14 November, along with details of the govt's reply to the original petitioners and their rejoinder.

Centre had asked for more time to respond to new petitions - assists they haven't done so.

Nov 6, 2019 33 tweets 15 min read
At Supreme Court for case on media and other restrictions in #Kashmir .

Anuradha Bhasin, Executive Editor of the Kashmir Times, had moved first petition, which has been linked with pleas by journalists' bodies.

Details of yesterday's hearing @TheQuint
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad's petition, also challenging various restrictions imposed in #JammuAndKashmir , is scheduled to come up next, though not sure if it will be heard.

You can follow all updates from inside and outside the courtroom @TheQuint…
Nov 5, 2019 14 tweets 6 min read
Supreme Court hearing Anuradha Bhasin's petition against media and other restrictions on Jammu and Kashmir (along with tagged petitions by journalist organisations and private citizens).

Vrinda Grover arguing for Bhasin. @TheQuint Grover says Bhasin's newspaper Kashmir Times has been able to only publish a truncated version since 11 October.

Transport and media restrictions are affecting their ability to function.

Oct 21, 2019 15 tweets 8 min read
At the Supreme Court for the hearing on the #AareyForest case.

On 7 October, special bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta had stayed the cutting of trees by Mumbai Metro authorities for a metro car shed.

@TheQuint… The case reached the SC because the MMRCL moved to cut down around 2600 trees on the night of 4 October, just hours after the Bombay HC dismissed a bunch of petitions that had challenged the tree-felling.

Legal issues at play @TheQuint :…
Oct 15, 2019 48 tweets 19 min read
At Supreme Court for important land acquisition cases up before a Constitution Bench.

ISSUE: When is compensation 'paid' to land owners under Section 24(2) Land Acquisition Act 2013?

CONTEXT: Money paid by big cos to govt treasury, not beneficiaries or court

➡️JAN 2014: 3 judge bench, SC says compensation to be paid into court, not treasury, so acquisition u/ old 1894 Act deemed to lapse, start anew

➡️FEB 2018: 3 judge bench, SC says paying govt treasury enough, sets aside 2014 decision, no lapse

Sep 9, 2019 47 tweets 31 min read
At Rouse Avenue Court for the #MJAkbar criminal defamation case against #PriyaRamani .

Today, Rebecca John will continue to conduct the examination-in-chief of @priyaramani , ie, recording her statement and evidence.

Will be tweeting LIVE for @TheQuint You can catch all the developments from the previous hearing on Saturday along with updates from today here @TheQuint…
Apr 11, 2019 32 tweets 13 min read
The #electoralbonds case is being heard in Supreme Court. Attorney General resumes his arguments.

For what happened yesterday, you can check out this thread 👇
Attorney General KK Venugopal explains that the electoral bonds scheme is a matter of policy, and so the courts shouldn't interfere in it.

You can read the details of the government's arguments here @TheQuint 👇…